Most professional class drag racing machines have automatic (ish) transmissions…mainly because of the advantage of the torque converter. Of course there is no real comparison to a street automatic, although some of the technology has trickled down.
I recall a magazine review of the 1995 Eagle Talon TSI when it came out - they said that if you tried to duplicate their 0-60 time, you were going to need a new clutch.
“Launch control” is becoming more and more common on high-end cars. Point the car where you want it to go, put one foot on the brake and floor it with the other foot. Take your foot off the brake and away you go…
I own a car model that has had its 0-60 time improved from 3.0 to under 2.7, simply from various test drivers getting better results. That’s with a traditional 5-speed manual, no traction / stability control. None of this flappy-paddle gearbox stuff. Of course, you can start in 2nd (and that helps quite a bit).